City of Myrtle Beach joins Facebook; police discuss effectivenes -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

City of Myrtle Beach joins Facebook; police discuss effectiveness of social media

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City of Myrtle Beach joins Facebook City of Myrtle Beach joins Facebook
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - While it's no secret social media can have a negative impact, many agencies today are using it to create a positive one, like the City of Myrtle Beach.

Since people are getting information in different ways, often through social media, the city joined Facebook to share information directly to those logging on.

This new Facebook page will be a place you can learn about events, from a neighborhood watch meeting to the Carolina Country Music Fest. It will allow the city to elaborate on all topics important to you, like changes in city services and budget details.

There's no limit to what will be posted. For example, recently, the city turned to Facebook to post job openings.

Public Information Specialist with the City of Myrtle Beach, Kaycey Vrettos, said she plans to post updates four to five times a day with relevant, interesting, and newsworthy information.

Vrettos said there's more to this page than just information on city happenings; you'll learn about city employees, and be able to engage with city officials. The overall goal for the city is to take advantage of the “connectivity” Facebook has to offer.

“The ability for folks to post a question or an answer, and say well what's going on with this?” City Spokesperson Mark Kruea said. “It gives us a chance to fully explain the city's thinking, the city's position, tell the city's story, in a much more one on one relationship.”

The “Myrtle Beach City Government” Facebook page has only been up a few weeks, so they're still feeling out it's impact. The Myrtle Beach Police Facebook page, on the other hand, has been up since the beginning of this year.

Police say, social media is a place where people can get very vocal, and sometimes it's those people, who are speaking out, who often help police in advancing their investigations.

“It's an extension of our community policing philosophy. It allows the community to also be a part of us directly,” Myrtle Beach Police Lt. Joey Crosby said.

Whether that be letting you know something as serious as a child is missing, or something simple like more community ambassadors are needed, Facebook and Twitter allow you to get information from police, right away.

Lt. Crosby says these forums are extremely helpful in daily operations. For example, if there's an accident or a road closure, information gets to you in seconds. This helps you, because you can immediately make alternate routes and police, because they can keep cars away from a scene.

Lt. Crosby said it has also been proven effective for police to get information regarding a crime. For example, when police post information about a suspect, they've had people responding with information, which could lead to an arrest.

"The public may have that one little bit of information that they think is useless, but we ask them to please give us information to let us know and let us determine where it fits into our investigation,” said Lt. Crosby.

WMBF News saw the power of social media, during our coverage of this year's Atlantic Beach Bikefest, first hand.

We reached more than 160,000 of you on Facebook in just one day. When we posted information about the first fatal crash during memorial day weekend, there were nearly 20,000 interactions - in just one post.

We're also getting information to you on Twitter, Instagram and even Snapchat. On top of that, you can download our news and weather apps on to your smartphone for free. These apps will get information to you quickly.

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